Who says graffiti can’t be romantic? Henry Barnes, a street artist, spent two days and went through 30 cans of paint to offer up possibly one of the most loving public proposals ever. Stacey Smith, Henry’s soon-to-be fiancée, was asked to meet up for a drink by her partner of three years and didn’t have a clue what was about to happen. Henry and his girlfriend went out for a coffee before walking past the huge mural which had been decorated with Stacey’s all-time favourite Disney characters from ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
Stacey commented, “Henry didn’t tell me what he was doing. I knew he was painting but I didn’t know what. It took him two days to finish the thing but he managed to keep it a secret from me.”
“He rang me and asked if I wanted to meet up for a drink in Stokes Croft (in Bristol) after work and I didn’t have a clue what was going on. Henry didn’t even say anything to me – I walked around the corner and just there was the piece, it was so unexpected I just burst into tears.”
“It did all feel a bit unreal and then Henry got down on one knee. It was incredibly romantic and it also felt very strange because there were a lot of people around who started clapping and cheering.”
“The whole thing happened so quickly, it was a bit of a whirlwind and we have no plans in place yet but we will probably get married next spring. I really didn’t see all this coming but it will certainly be one of those things I will always remember.”
“Everyone has a favourite Disney film and beauty and the beast was mine growing up. Henry knew it was my favourite and that’s why he used Belle and the Beast.”
The pair met in a call centre where they worked together and recently decided to take part in a hike to help raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation, Henry’s workplace.
They currently live together in Montpelier, Bristol. Henry often produces graffiti pieces under the street name “Fiver” and commented on the trip across the Peak District to raise funds saying that, “It was a tough slog but we managed to get through the whole thing without falling out with each other.”
“I decided that if we could do that without a major row, we must have something pretty special going.”
“I knew I was going to propose but I didn’t want to do anything that was too cliché so I came up with this idea about three weeks ago. I have never done anything as big as this before. I spent the first day painting the wall over and the second day I spent all day painting.”
“It took me eight hours but I managed to catch Stacey completely by surprise. When she saw what I had done she just burst into tears, she was so thrilled.”
If you’d like to see an array of street art work, why not join us on one of our street art London tours where we will take you to the East End and reveal some of London’s greatest graffiti and street art. With quite a few well-known figures as well as a few you’ll have never heard of before, join us and see what you can discover.